Virtual Voices
A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shouts during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt.
Associated Press/Photo by Manu Brabo, File
A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shouts during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt.

Egypt! Egypt! A Meditation for Today

Poetry

Pastor/poet John Piper explains below why we should care about Egypt’s newest misery. His second “news poem for WORLDmag.com—see his May 17 commentary on the Boston Marathon bombing and Connecticut school shooting—updates the 17th and 18th century journalistic practice of reflecting in verse on battles, disasters, murders, and other events, with news poems published in single page “broadsides” and sold for a penny.—Marvin Olasky

Egypt! Egypt!
A Meditation for Today on Isaiah 19:24-25

O Egypt, Egypt, do you not
   Recall, dear friend—have you forgot—
That twice you were the savior of 
   My only Son—though not from love?

You fed him in the famine. Then
   You took him for a slave. And when
I rescued him, I made you know
   My name, my power, and how much woe 
Will fall on those who mock my Son.

   And when he came again, the One
That Herod would destroy, he fled
   Once more to his dear friend who fed 
Him once before. And there you hid 
   And suckled him like Moses, ’mid
The rushes and the riches of
   The regal court—though not from love.
Two years you gave him shield and bread
   Until his enemies were dead
And it was safe for him to make
   His way back home, and for your sake
To die. 

                            O Egypt, Egypt, will
   You now destroy his house, and kill
His people, cut his seamless word
   To pieces, lest the truth be heard— 
The sweetest news that he, or I,
   Could ever speak? 

                                  And so I cry
Aloud again: O Egypt, Hear
   This tender word. It is as near
To you as hope. Did not your own
   Isaiah tenderly make known
My heart? O Listen, Egypt! “In
   That day, in spite of all your sin,
Together, you and Israel,
   And vast Assyria, will dwell
As one—the kingdom of my Son—
   And in that day, with joy, I’ll stun
The world, and call you mine. And you
   Will be my people. Yes, the true
And happy bride of Christ, with all
   Your meek and broken foes who call
On his great name. And in the end,
   You'll know why I have called you friend.”

John Piper
John Piper

John is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

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